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Structural and functional investigation of the visual system

Our group is currently involved in a number of studies investigating the structure and function of the visual system both in the healthy and diseased eye.

Psychophysical investigations of visual function

We are involved with a number of studies using psychophysical methods to investigation visual function including:

  • Basic psychophysics including spatio-temporal interaction across the field of vision and spatial properties of different parallel pathways in healthy eyes.
  • Development of novel perimetric methods in glaucoma using perimetric stimuli that scale in 3D.
  • Visual acuity chart design using high-pass filtered letters

Macular research

There is recent and ongoing research involving investigation of the ageing visual system using psychophysical methods. Such visual functions include:

  • Dark adaptation
  • Visual acuity
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Glare

We are also involved in The investigation of the role of the macular pigment in human visual performance in the normal eye and diseased eye. The macular pigment consists of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and it is thought to have a variety of roles in the eye including those as a protective filter against damaging short wavelength light, as an anti-oxidant and as a filter which can improve visual function. The aim of our research is to better understand the role of the macular pigment in the human eye and the factors which may influence its density and location.

Structure-function relationships in ocular disease

We are investigating relationships between retinal structure and function in glaucoma and AMD using novel imaging and psychophysical methods, such as the investigation of spatial and temporal summation in ageing and glaucoma in order to enhance the understanding of visual field loss in glaucoma.

Higher Order Aberrations

Our group have conducted a large scale study investigating higher order aberations in childhood across refractive errors, and have also investigated HOA in the Down syndrome eye.

Dr Mulholland is investigating how the structure of the keratoconic eye relates to visual function and aberration magnitude.

For more information on our research in this area please contact :